Welcome to the holiday season! We all know life can get a little stressful around the holiday season. Parties, increased family time, travel, and less time to do the things that make you feel grounded, like eating well and exercising, can all contribute. The great thing about holiday stress is that it’s predictable. Unlike many other types of stress we encounter in life, we know when holiday stress will begin and end, and we can make plans to reduce the amount of negative stress we experience and the impact it has on us. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your routine to help reduce holiday stress so that you can enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.
- Stick to your vitamin routine. It can be easy to skip a day or two during the busiest time of the year. If you forget to take your supplements for the day, simply take one as soon as you remember. Nutritional supplements can be even more important during the holidays when our normal routines are disrupted. Set a reminder on your phone to remember to take your vitamins daily. Traveling? Take your vitamins on the go with a travel vitamin case.
- Get a workout in where you can. Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or 2 hours, make time to get your sweat on. You and everyone around you will reap the benefits of your increased endorphins. We love YouTube® workouts you can do in your home or at the office (search 10-minute full-body workouts) or head to the gym or a guided class.
- Find those loved ones who keep you grounded and help you destress. Stick with them. Identify who in your family or friend group makes you feel most comfortable and like yourself and make plans with them.
- Say no thank you. Listen to your body and mind. If you’re not feeling like another family outing on your agenda or you just need some alone time in between all the activity, you are allowed to say no, even to loved ones. All things in moderation. Don’t make yourself feel uncomfortable to make others comfortable. Boundaries are necessary and healthy. You can’t be your best if you don’t give yourself time to recharge. Pick your favorite activities and really enjoy them, and skip the rest. Your loved ones will understand.
- Be smart about holiday eating. We all want to indulge a little in holiday favorites but also want to look and feel our best with loved ones we don’t get to see often. There is so much temptation in the office and at holiday get-togethers. Increased family time or increased time alone can lead to emotional eating. Plan ahead by being aware of your triggers; do what you can to make sure you are maintaining a healthy, balanced diet for the most part; and identify when you can allow yourself a holiday favorite. We like to follow the 80/20 rule.
- Breathe and remember what the holiday season is about. This time is meant to be filled with joy, spreading cheer, and being thankful. So often when things feel out of control, we forget to take a few minutes to stop and breathe. In moments of anxiety, overreacting, overindulging, or trouble falling asleep, we like to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique. To do so, first empty the lungs of air. Then breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds. Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound for 8 seconds. Repeat this 4 times and you’ll be feeling back to your grounded self. Write down daily what you’re grateful for in your phone or in a journal, and anytime you feel anxious, take a peek.
So practice these simple tips to relax and enjoy the festivities!
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